Driving instructors are being forced to bring chairs to test centres as they are not being allowed inside while their students are having tests, it has been claimed.
Restrictions in place due to Covid-19 mean instructors must wait outside while pupils complete their driving tests.
Kate Fennelly of Feet 2 Wheels Driving School said instructors had to “fight” with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to be allowed to use the bathroom at the test centres while they wait.
Speaking from Watnall test centre, the 49 year old said: “Driving instructors are sat around on chairs or salt boxes for up to 90 minutes for pupils to complete their tests.
“We aren’t allowed in the waiting rooms because the examiners have been spread out across the building so they can distance.
“One time we were waiting outside and I had a coat on but it was freezing and raining. We are going to end up getting ill and showing signs of Covid-19.
"Then we will have to isolate and we are all self-employed. We want to show the Government what they’re doing to us.”
Mum-of-one Kate, who is East Midlands Chairman for the Motor Schools Association (MSA) said at first, instructors and pupils weren’t allowed to use the toilets at the test centres.
But she said after a “battle” with the DVSA, they are now allowing use of the toilets.
(Image: Joseph Raynor/ Nottingham Post)
Kate added: “We’ve had scenarios where you have to encourage people to hide behind a cabin in the car park to go to the toilet.
“In the last couple of weeks we’ve been allowed to use the toilets but the moment you’ve been, you’re locked out of the test centre again.
“You feel like a criminal. We need the public to realise what we’re going through."
Get our top stories sent to you every day
Want us to send you a daily round-up of our biggest stories, and breaking news alerts, direct to your email inbox?
Sign up to our newsletter here.
Kate added that earlier this week, there were no examiners inside the test centre to let them in – and the toilets were locked.
She said: “This is a health hazard for us all. We have instructors of various ages and some have health conditions.
“We also have special needs students and a lot of them need to go to the toilet before their tests. I want my students to come back with a dry seat, not a wet one. Why can’t we have portaloos out here?
“I’ve been teaching for 16 years and we’ve never had anything like this before.”
LGV instructor Rob Baker, of Mansfield, added: “You have to bang on the window of the test centre to ask to use the toilet.
“There must be a better way to do it. I’ve got arthritis and the temperature affects my condition. We need shelter at the very least.
“Otherwise, come autumn and winter it won’t be a pleasant experience.”
A DVSA spokesperson said: “DVSA’s priority is to stop the spread of Covid-19.
“Following engagement with driving instructors we made toilet and handwashing facilities available for any candidate, instructor or accompanying driver if requested.
“DVSA is currently in discussion with HSE about the use of waiting rooms for driving instructors.”
link source - Nottingham Post http://i2-prod.derbytelegraph.co.uk/incoming/article4498442.ece/ALTERNATES/s458/1_NEP_TEM_080920Testing_003JPG.jpg